I’ve always loved benedictions. My pastor in the church where I grew up was exceptionally good at benedictions, and they were usually my favorite part of the service (and not because they marked the end!) I looked up “benediction” and found out it comes from the Latin “bene” (meaning “well”) and “dicere” (meaning “to speak”). Rev. Joseph E. Lowery gave the benediction at the presidential inauguration on Tuesday, and I found it an excellent call to faith and unity. His words remind us that while America may have come a long way, this is a process that is far from over. Just yesterday I read about a documentary about the de-segregating of a high school prom in Mississippi. When I read the first line of the article, I automatically thought this event occurred around 50 years ago. I was shocked when I read on and discovered it happened LAST YEAR. Worldviews don’t change just because of the passage of a law, and Lowery’s words are just as timely today as they were when he worked with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
The full text of Lowery’s benediction can be found here. Picture courtesy of The Seattle Post-Intelligencer.